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Fwd: Re: [decentralization] Fwd: He Struck Gold on the Net ( Really )

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  • Todd Boyle
    ... So, the customer would have to advertise their desire for the service, instead of the seller, advertising the service available. Western culture has long
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 3, 2002
      >If I recall correctly, you cannot offer to convert other people's
      >Postscript to PDF using Adobe Acrobat. Technologically, this
      >conversion would be a natural for a "web service": post PS, get back
      >PDF.


      So, the customer would have to advertise their desire for the
      service, instead of the seller, advertising the service available.

      Western culture has long ago settled into a pattern where sellers
      operate markets. Our commercial districts in cities reflect this,
      and by default the internet reflects it, as well. It is heavily
      weighted to selling.

      Mathematically we know, the whole aggregate demand is just
      as powerfully motivated as the aggregate supplyside. In the
      physical city, the selling marketplace is all that survived somehow.

      How different the web would be, if there were as many people
      operating "Web-RFP" websites as today's web-Storefront
      websites!

      There is a strange absences of ways to advertise what I want
      to buy. I've often wished, at the checkout counter in supermarket,
      to receive my receipt electronically instead of on paper, so that
      I could somehow submit it to a reverse-auction and get lower
      prices, hooo boy what a difference THAT would make,

      TOdd
    • Clay Shirky
      ... Everyone has one job but many needs, so organization from the buy side is more complicated than you make it out to be. That having been said, a lot (most)
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 3, 2002
        > How different the web would be, if there were as many people
        > operating "Web-RFP" websites as today's web-Storefront
        > websites!

        Everyone has one job but many needs, so organization from the buy side
        is more complicated than you make it out to be. That having been said,
        a lot (most) of the complexity is coordination cost, which is
        something engineers of decentralization are getting awfully good at
        dealing with.

        Priceline and Google Answers are two models of "RFP Buying"? Are there
        more? Did any of those Mobshop aggregated bulk buying businesses
        survive from the boom?

        -clay
      • Todd Boyle
        ... I would reject the Google, Priceline, and Mobshop models for lacking sufficient convenience/time savings for the consumer. They also lack mechanisms to
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 3, 2002
          At 12:43 PM 6/3/02, Clay wrote:
          > > How different the web would be, if there were as many people
          > > operating "Web-RFP" websites as today's web-Storefront
          > > websites!
          >
          >Everyone has one job but many needs, so organization from the buy side
          >is more complicated than you make it out to be. That having been said,
          >a lot (most) of the complexity is coordination cost, which is
          >something engineers of decentralization are getting awfully good at
          >dealing with.
          >
          >Priceline and Google Answers are two models of "RFP Buying"? Are there
          >more? Did any of those Mobshop aggregated bulk buying businesses
          >survive from the boom?


          I would reject the Google, Priceline, and Mobshop models for
          lacking sufficient convenience/time savings for the consumer.

          They also lack mechanisms to protect against large-scale SPAM
          and harrassment, and are subject to capture and rent extraction.
          Like some other problems on the internet, the large capitalist
          model may never "get the message" and something P2P might
          evolve first. This in turn would require a large scale software
          application on the peer, to succeed. Such things cost $millions.

          I imagine something based on barcode scanners, or those millions
          of CueCat scanners etc. might improve convenience of data
          capture. Of course the large retailers and wholesalers would
          fight the use of barcoded data. etc.

          However, there is little doubt in my mind, of the potential for
          a second generation of Home-Grocer/Peapod/Webvan/Kozmo etc.

          What must drive it this time is a standard protocol and semantics
          for publishing parts lists, grocery lists, etc. underpinned by some
          sort of anonymity. An NNTP news server with everybody using a
          hotmail account would be fine.

          One could imagine a software package that automates my one-time
          visit to Mapquest to get my latitude and longitude coordinates,
          has some wizards to help me scan my groceries when I come home
          from the supermarket. The software could be configured to publish
          the RFPs on NNTP server, mailing list, or dedicated web services.

          Of course you need retailers or wholesalers willing to
          import the grocery list into their computer and compile a
          price quotation for this grocery list. Even if I had to drive to
          the supermarket and buy it myself I would love this.. Alas, the
          supermarkets would do anything to obliterate the barcodes, and
          take every anti-competitive action possible...

          I wonder if the internet changes everything enough to create a
          market for services as a "Personal purchasing agent"... somebody
          who bets, if you show me your whole demand picture, betcha,
          I can find a way to get the whole thing cheaper. Because,
          there is enough game theory in this, to prevent the kind of
          simplistic "Webvan" vision from surviving without assistance
          of a human chess player.

          Todd
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